Saturday, December 10, 2011

Lunar Eclipse

10 Dec 2011: Lunar Eclipse  -  observed in the high country of Yosemite National Park

On a frosty morning, my friend Lynda and I left the warm room at the Yosemite Lodge at 3am to drive to the high country to observe the lunar eclipse.  The web had provided us with a ton of useful materials, specifically the science site and so we knew that the eclipse would start shortly after 4am and the moon would totally be in Earth shadow around 6am just before setting behind the horizon.  We had scouted a place along highway 41 where we were not surrounded by mountains.  We planned to use the Interval Timer Shooting for a series of images and had studied up on it last evening - I'll describe this in another blog.  It is a great way to photograph a series of images in fixed time intervals.  When we arrived at our location, the full moon illuminated the landscape and we set up our tripods and cameras to capture the event starting at 4am until the moon set behind the horizon at 6:30a.  We took a bracketed image every 10 minutes (which proved to be a too long an interval) and used a wide angle lens to capture the whole path of the moon.  I also took images with a tele lens (300mm) and the above image was taken when the moon was 2/3 eclipsed and in the shadow of Earth.

I will talk more about the techniques and will have more images on a future blog.  I hope some of you had a chance to go out and observed a very special moon event.  For me it was the first time that I saw the moon eclipse and it was great to see the whole event -- even though by the end my hands and feet were quite frozen but my many layers of down had otherwise kept me warm.  The nights here are below freezing and the wind was blowing over the high country of the Sierra.

As today is full moon, go out and enjoy the moon tonight.

Til next time, 

New:  Join me for the next great photo opportunity 
to "See the Elephants" in March 2-4, 2012!
To see all workshops and photo travel opportunities 
offered by M. Raeder - Photography, please click here.